There has been some well-deserved career acceleration for Chelsea Jade (who previously performed under the "Watercolours" moniker). She has recently been in New York City performing two CMJ showcases, following this up with participation in the Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo (winning selection against 6000 other entries). With two excellent EPs released over the last year ("Portals" and "Beacons"), she is now signed to Universal Music NZ. Chelsea has a strong record in terms of the integration of her music with visuals, and the video for "Visions" is no different. Demonstrating some athleticism (!), Chelsea channels the video for the 1994 Lisa Loeb hit "Stay", but with far more success, working together again with very talented director Alex Gandar. A central theme to the video is "desperately wanting to be anywhere that you aren’t, but nowhere else seems really appealing either "(quote from Under The Radar linked below). It is a striking piece. I have included a Rip It Up link below if you would like to know more about Chelsea. You can buy both her EPs at the links below also. I own all her releases.
CHELSEA JADE - Visions
From She's So Rad's long-time-coming sophomore album "Tango" (due early 2015 through From The Crate Records), this new single is a little wonder. With great dynamics (often missing from shoegaze), an elegantly lazy hook and a guitar solo/break that somehow reminds me of Boston's "More Than a Feeling" guitar track, the song gets a further visual lift from Dylan Pharazyn's sensual, provocative and funny "hotspringsploitation" video. Dylan also does much of the band's artwork. Jol Mulholland was involved with recording the single at Mt Eden studio The Lab, while the track was produced by band principal Jeremy Toy, and mixed by Tony Hoffer (M83, Supergrass, Silversun Pickups). The back-story to the long lead time on the new album is Jeremy's hospitalization as a result of a cowardly assault. Jeremy remains with some quite serious neural side effects, but somehow he is bravely continuing to deliver soaring pop tunes in his long-time collaboration with partner, Anji Sami, principal writer of this song. It sounds like "radio" to me if it gets the right promotion/distribution. Here's hoping it gets the oxygen. You can buy the single at the link below. I will be.
Single link: http://shessorad.bandcamp.com/#_=_
Band website: http://shessorad.com/
Cool It - She's So Rad
I suspect Jonathan Bree has a higher profile internationally than he does in NZ, but he is by no means a household name anywhere. However Jonathan has been responsible, either directly, or indirectly, for some of the most original, clever and listenable music to come out of New Zealand. He is probably most well-known for his role as a member of the Brunettes (w/ Heather Mansfield) but in my (humble) opinion his most important contribution was through the founding of Lil' Chief Records in the early 2000s. This label has continuously launched some of NZ's best indie bands. And his music is a highlight of that stable. "Weird Hardcore" is the first single off his new album "A Little Night Music". The last album "The Primrose Path" was stunning, and an easy buy for me. There is something of the disembodied "familiar" about Jonathan's music, and this latest single is no different. According to a Lil' Chief blogpost " while writing and recording A Little Night Music – Jonathan inherited a bunch of second hand classical records and began listening to a bunch of ballet scores by Tchaikovsky, orchestral suites by Grieg and Haydn symphonies. With no classical background but always an obvious appreciation for orchestral pop (Serge etc) A Little Night Music is Jonathan’s attempt to write more free-form ‘classical’ inspired compositions but still always with a McCartney-esque bassline.” Simon Ward has come up with one of his best videos ever and the package is complete. You can download the single for free at the link below (although please pay if you can). I have also provided a Facebook link, and a link to Lil' Chief Records. Can't wait for the new album.
Jonathan Bree - Weird Hardcore